Bowers & Wilkins 600 Series

Posted on 14th February, 2014

Bowers & Wilkins 600 Series

Pedigree UK speaker maestro, B&W has taken its acclaimed 600 series to another level of sonic excellence, with new leading-edge technologies which makes it sound better and offer greater value for money to consumers.

The 600 series has a bundle of B&W’s expensively researched technologies. Onboard are Double Dome Tweeters pioneered in the CM10 speaker, Anti-Resonance Plugs for mid/bass drive units and Bowers & Wilkins iconic Kevlar® cones.

New features developed specifically for the 600’s added to these proven technologies are new Dual Layer aluminium bass drivers and new tweeter decoupling technology.

The Decoupled Double Dome tweeter is a major technological advance, and comprises two separate aluminium domes, the second with its centre portion cut out and glued to the rear face of the first dome to create a remarkable blend of lightness and rigidity. In the new 600 Series, the entire tweeter assembly is further decoupled, being physically separated from the cabinet by a cushioning gel ring.

The resulting Decoupled Double Dome tweeter is described as having stunning clarity and tonal purity, plus outstanding imaging and dispersion.

The new 600 Series is ideal not just for stereo hi-fi applications – making the most of everything from vinyl to FLAC – but also home cinema. The range includes two all-new centre channel speakers plus three subwoofers with matching finishes.

Serious speaker pairs

The 683 is the largest speaker in the new 600 Series – a floorstander designed to deliver outstanding power, accuracy and musicality. The 683 features the new Decoupled Double Dome tweeter, an FSTTM midrange driver and new Dual Layer aluminium bass drivers. This new Dual Layer design sees an aluminium bass cone reinforced around its periphery with a second layer of aluminium, for a more effectively damped cone and higher break-up frequency. The result is even richer, distortion-free bass. With exceptional performance across the frequency range, the new 683 fuses serious stereo and home cinema sound with amazing value for a speaker of this calibre.

The new 684 floorstander is now slimmer than ever, yet still offers an amazing combination of serious power, spectacular audio performance and unbeatable value. That’s because of improved Kevlar bass/ midrange drive units and its Decoupled Double Dome tweeter. Smaller, 5-inch drivers make for a slimmer speaker, yet Bowers & Wilkins engineers have improved audio performance by using smaller voice coils and Anti-Resonance Plugs in the drivers, to deliver smoother response and increased sensitivity. The result is room-filling sound without a room-filling speaker cabinet.

The versatile new 685 is at home on a stand or bookshelf. Perfectly sized for most rooms, it combines new Decoupled Double Dome tweeters, Kevlar cones and Anti-Resonance Plugs with the value for which the 600 Series is renowned. The Decoupled Double Dome tweeter found throughout the new 600 Series builds on technology developed for the award-winning CM10. The new 685 is destined to follow in the footsteps of its highly acclaimed predecessors, the 601 and the outgoing 685, and will become recognised as THE definitive affordable standmount loudspeaker.

With the new 686, small really is beautiful. At just 160mm wide, the 686 is the most compact speaker in the new 600 Series, but don’t underestimate its power and precision. That’s thanks to its new Decoupled Double Dome tweeter and improved Kevlar driver with Anti-Resonance Plug. Its main 5-inch driver features a 25mm voice coil for higher sensitivity, and it now has a front rather than rear-firing FlowportTM, making it ideal for placement near a wall. The 686 features a built-in bracket for easy wall mounting but it sounds just as good on a bookshelf – or just about anywhere else.

Home cinema versatility

The new 600 Series isn’t just great for hi-fi; with two centre speakers and three subwoofers, it’s ideal for home cinema. Bowers & Wilkins has prepared two suggested home cinema speaker packages based on the new 600 Series: the 684 Theatre, comprising 684 front speakers, an HTM62 centre speaker, 686 rear speakers and ASW610 subwoofer; and the 683 Theatre, which features 683 front speakers, an HTM61 centre-channel, 686 rear speakers and an ASW610XP subwoofer. Of course, you can also mix and match to create a bespoke system for any room size, need and budget. With such versatility, the new 600 Series can fill the largest home cinema space – or fit into the smallest.

The HTM61 is the larger of the new 600 Series centre speakers, a perfect match for the mighty 683 floorstanders. It looks better than ever thanks to its new symmetrical design. It sounds better too, with its new Decoupled Double Dome tweeter, two powerful 6.5-inch Dual Layer bass drivers and an FST midrange driver. The result is a serious centre speaker ideal for the biggest of big-screen action.

Completing the range’s home cinema credentials are three superb subwoofers: the ASW610XP, ASW610 and ASW608. These are carried across from the previous 600 Series but have updated finishes to match the new 600 Series speakers.

The entire range is now available in two finishes, Black Ash and White, to stylishly and subtly integrate with any room design. The speakers feature painted baffles and complementary black or grey grilles, depending on the finish chosen. Detailing in the new 600 Series is improved too, with a new fixed steel grille to protect the tweeter and a brushed aluminium, diamond-cut logo plate in a dark or light tint corresponding to the finish on the Black Ash and White models.

The new 600 Series is available from March 2013.

Pricing is as follows:

  • 683 is priced $2,499 per pair
  • 684 is priced $1,699 per pair
  • 685 is priced $999 per pair
  • 686 is priced $799 per pair
  • HTM61 is priced $1,099
  • HTM62 is priced $699
  • ASW 610XP is priced $1,899
  • ASW610 is priced $999
  • ASW608 is priced $799

For more information visit

Peter Familari's avatar

Peter Familari

One of the veterans of the HiFi industry, Peter was formerly the Audio-Video Editor of the Herald Sun national newspaper in Australia for over two decades. One of the most-respected audio journalists in the industry, Peter brings his unparalleled experience and a unique story-telling ability to StereoNET.

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Posted in: Hi-Fi Home Theatre
Tags: bowers wilkins  loudspeakers